Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I accidentally insult a Canadian

It is 5pm on the 8th May, and I am on the ferry that takes you to Toronto Island Airport.

Next to me is a man who looks like Bryan Adams. Scars, reddish hair, quite short. It can't be him because his suitcase is properly crap. Not "Tumi, darling, I've had it for YEARS"; more "I bought this at Birmingham airport because the other one broke on the bus". 

The ferry makes it across 10 feet of duck-infested water.  

Man (pleasantly Canadian):  Well, that was exciting. 
Me: I know. Do you need a little sit down? 
Man: I think I need to after that.  What did you think of the election result? 
Me (startled. Am I that obviously English?): Horrifying. 
Man: Wasn't it. 

We walk off the ferry and into the terminal. The man chats very knowledgeably about for e.g. UK foreign policy, death of NHS, fucking Tories, etc.  

Me: You know more about it than me. I've been here 8 years. 
Man: Well, I've lived in London for 25 years.
Me: Ooh! Where? 
Man: Chelsea. You know World's End? There. Anyway... bedroom tax ... hitting the people that need it the most ...  I don't know what to do about it... George Osborne ... awful ... 

This goes on for 4 minutes.  It is not Bryan Adams because there is NO WAY Bryan Adams would a) have a suitcase bought in an emergency situation in Birmingham Airport; b) be talking about bedroom tax to a stranger on a ferry.

I start impersonating George Osborne in order to join in. It is the best I can do. I am planning to make a topical joke, which I have been rehearsing in my head.

Me (in George Osborne voice): Well, speaking as a multi-billionaire ... 
Man (face falls, looks hurt): Well, I'm not sure what THAT has to do with it. 

We get to customs, and say goodbye. He waves. 

I Google Bryan Adams.   He has homes in Chelsea, London and Paris, France. 

Sorry, Bryan Adams.

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